June 25, 2011

Urban Guerilla Theater, June 17

This monthly series often has a theme & musical acts, but tonight our host, Mojavi, was running it "old school," basically an open mic with DJ Jams in the background as needed & in between performers. I hadn't been here in a number of months & hadn't expected to read but then I always have a poem or 2 on me somewheres so Mojavi signed me up.

First up was hooded Leslie with 2 pieces done from memory about relationships going bad & a woman getting her life back, moving on, keeping her options open. O.Z. Morris/Ozymandias did a couple of pieces in hip-hop beat, including a love rap to "Miss Medusa." Jessica Layton confronted the issues from the day's news with a piece called "Homies" & one titled "Victims." This was Ben Golden's first time up & did a piece, "Paranoia," about ATF raiding his apartment. Usually comics just wash over me, but I tend to pay more attention to sexy female comediennes, like Jay (or was it simply "J."?) McBride. Then it was my turn with poems from my chapbook Poeming the Prompt: "Looking for Cougars," "What Really Happened,"& "The Lesson."  Next up was what I would call a "cock grabbing rap" group with the refrain "you ain't fuckin' with me who you fuckin' with?" -- check it out online by Googling 16 bars.

I thought I 'd seen Clare McDonald before but it was only because she must have had the same slam poetry coach as about a dozen other aspiring competitors on the scene; her piece, a take-off from Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" was done breathlessly in classic slam style, good performance, eeh poem. Another comic, with a seemingly random array of jokes was Matt Kelly. Bless gave a preview of next month's UGT with his pussy-addict poem, followed by his fine piece about visiting his old 'hood, "…up the street from history…" Then he tag-teamed as he launched into his poem in the voice of the gun, & Darian (Poetic Visions) followed as the bullet, a powerful message.

Carlos Garcia said he used to be "a Blackberry poet," but has returned to paper, & performed 2 pieces, the first pondering where inspiration comes from, then a poem for poets who preach but don't do, unfortunately the poem a bit preachy too. Dain Brammage did a selection of his insomnia haikus, then his earliest performance piece, the misogynist wife-killer poem. Kee Jackson was new to this stage & read her poem "I Am Beautiful" for all women.

Elliptical is a regular here, & brought paper to the stage with a piece just written today, "Must Accomplish" about being jobless, then the hip-hop piece "breathe me in, I am here…" Rashad the Poet recited a poem about the chain of being, a young mother & then a still-born child. Bless jumped in again with a recited piece on child support. The last group I caught briefly on my way out was a rap duo S.P.I. (I think).

Check the schedule of events at The Linda, & look for the next UGT on the 3rd Friday of the month, a unique venue showcasing a variety of fine local performers.

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